(Father) Gregory "Greg" Boyle, S.J.
"Nothing stops a bullet like a job" is the cornerstone of Father Greg Boyle's faithful devotion to end gang violence, and the motto he spurred to life by creating the largest gang intervention program in the United States. One of eight children, Fr. Boyle was born in Los Angeles, in 1954, and went on to study both English and Divinity before serving as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in 1986, where he immediately began to discover pathways of outreach to the surrounding community of East LA. In 1992, at the height of the LA riots and brutal chaos in Los Angeles County, Boyle responded with action, creating Jobs For a Future (JFF), a revolutionary, brave program that offered education, child and human services, and legitimate employment opportunities to current and future gang members. Unlike the police forces, Boyle didn't view the young gang members as inhumane; rather, he saw them as particularly human, and vulnerable, and above all, able: so he put them to work, rather than into penitentiaries. Rival gang members worked side-by-side in Boyle's first humanitarian business venture, Homeboy Bakery, which soon grew so successful that it launched the non-profit Homeboy Industries-currently employing over 300 "street" youths, and turning away no one who asks for help. The impact of Fr. Boyle's work has been profound, and Homeboy Industries continues to be upheld as a model for reforming gang communities across the nation. Amongst numerous honors, Fr. Boyle received the California Peace Prize in 2000. Fr. Boyle's voice continues to ringout across university campuses, in the pages of the LA Times, and in conversations with gang members and street vendors: love unconditionally, he says. And shows us how everyday.
"Nothing stops a bullet like a job."
"Community will trump gang any day."
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